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Slice 420 does killer pizza and crepes under misleading name

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Chef Olivier Leheux's sweet crepes stand out at Slice 420. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Chef Olivier Leheux's sweet crepes stand out at Slice 420.
As stated and reinforced on Slice 420's website, menus and even pizza boxes, the food is not infused, nor is it lowbrow stoner munchies. Co-owners Christian and Stefany Patriarca call themselves medical refugees — they sold their Florida pizzeria and moved to Colorado to treat their youngest daughter, Sofia, with cannabidiol, which Christian says has marked a sea change in treating her epilepsy and cerebral palsy.

While it's wonderful that Sofia's doing much better, we're a little iffy on naming the restaurant in tribute to the marvels of medical marijuana, which mandates near-constant new-customer education. Plus, its diminutive spot in the shopping center on 25th Street and Colorado Avenue has also seen a lot of tenant turnover. Between the name and the location, we could be rightfully worried for Slice 420's longevity.

But when we stop in on a Sunday night, the tiny dining room's crammed to capacity — we can barely seat three among its various photo tributes to NYC and Paris. The takeout and delivery orders have Christian, co-owner Olivier Leheux and every other staffer we see working at a fever pitch. Despite this, Christian and Leheux take time to check in with every diner, obviously invested in giving a quality experience.

And plate after plate, it's obvious why — this place is wicked good on all fronts. We add sausage to a sautéed spinach calzone and are thoroughly delighted. Christian cuts the sausage lengthwise into extra-thin slices and heats them before wrapping them up with mozzarella, spinach and a seasoned ricotta blend my dining companion mistakes for unusually decadent Alfredo sauce. The crust's perfectly cooked, with a crisp exterior and chewy interior, by no means doughy where it meets the filling. For $11, it's a generous portion, too.

The dough's thoroughly wonderful — crispy outside, chewy inside and baked to perfection on every visit. It's sturdy for calzones or pizza rolls and foldably thin for New York-sized slices, dubbed authentic by a co-worker from New York. At $3 per cheese slice or $15 per 16-inch cheese 'za, prices aren't too high, portions considered. And we're happy with the signature Grego pie, covered with spinach, tomatoes, Kalamata olives and feta. Notably, they do offer a gluten-free crust.

And there's plenty for dessert as well. We enjoy the "puff pastries" — actually cream puffs or profiteroles, if you're as into hair-splitting as I am — full of smooth vanilla pastry cream. They lose a little crispness from living in the fridge, but they're still good. We get a little fridge stodginess in the peach clafoutis — a custard with browned edges that hold up like a crust — but there's a good creaminess, and it's not too sweet. Filled to order, the cannolis stand out, plenty sizable with a crisp shell and smooth filling. The cinnamon's nicely balanced, as well.

But we can't forget chef Leheux's huge Parisian sweet crepes, a big fraction of the typo-ridden menu. We try la Normandie, which stands out with apple slices sautéed in rum. They pair with walnuts inside the crepe, and it's topped with caramel and vanilla ice cream. We're pleased with the mix of textures and flavors, especially when we get to the not-too-sweet apples.

Slice 420 is pretty much everything we could ask for in a neighborhood pizzeria. They even deliver within three miles of the restaurant. Really, the name's the only potential misstep.

Location Details Slice 420
2501 W. Colorado Ave., #108
Old Colorado City
Colorado Springs, CO
368-6977
Pizza

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